Manchester City calm Sergio Aguero injury concerns

12 March 2014
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Manchester City have played down concerns about the muscle injury sustained by striker Sergio Aguero in the

2-1 defeat at Barcelona.

The Argentina forward, who has scored 26 goals this season, was forced off at half-time in the Nou Camp.

But assistant manager Ruben Cousillas is hopeful that the injury is minor.

“We don’t think it’s anything serious. He felt some muscle pain but it was more a precaution than anything else,” Cousillas said.

“It’s too early to know how long he’ll be out. We’ll do some tests to assess the injury.”

Aguero, 25, has missed two spells this season with calf and hamstring problems and has started 15 of City’s 26 Premier League matches this season.

City were

2-0 down from the first leg

and their first goal in the tie was Vincent Kompany’s 89th-minute effort in the Nou Camp to make it 3-1 on aggregate.

Aguero started as a lone striker and City only played with two recognised forwards when Alvaro Negredo came on to partner Edin Dzeko with 17 minutes left.

But Cousillas, a prominent figure on the touchline with boss Manuel Pellegrini

serving a two-game touchline ban,

defended City’s tactics and said: “In the second half we had three or four clear chances with just one striker, so you can’t say if we’d played two strikers we’d have had the same chances.

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I’m proud for the team because we played a fantastic game

Pablo Zabaleta
Manchester City defender

“We usually play with two but against Barca, with such good midfield players, we thought we needed to reinforce in midfield. But I don’t think it would have changed the result.

“Up to last weekend, we were the only team chasing four trophies, which is not easy to do. We are out of two, but are still very much alive in the Premier League. The team is recovering and have been through some low times, but we are alive and we will fight for the title.”

City won the

Capital One Cup

this season – a first trophy under Pellegrini – but were

knocked out of the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage by Wigan

on Sunday

Despite two setbacks in four days, Kompany believes that his side, who were in the Champions League knock-out phases for the first time, will be a force in Europe next season.

He told Sky Sports: “Only the winners get remembered, but it’s only the third year ever for Manchester City in the Champions League.

“I’m looking at this and I don’t see why next year we should fear anyone.”

Pablo Zabaleta was shown a second yellow card for dissent after French referee Stephane Lannoy refused a penalty appeal for Gerard Pique’s challenge on Dzeko.

But the Argentina right-back maintained he had no idea why he had been sent off.

He told BBC Sport: “I don’t know why I got a red card.

“I went to him to talk in a good way. I was a little bit angry because he didn’t give a penalty but I’m always respectful to him and very frustrated for that decision, it was a shocking decision.

“I’m frustrated and disappointed because we didn’t qualify but I’m proud for the team because we played a fantastic game.”

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Sergio Aguero in contention for Capital One Cup final

26 February 2014
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Manchester City’s top scorer Sergio Aguero is in contention to play in Sunday’s Capital One Cup final after returning to training on Tuesday.

The Argentine striker has missed the last month with a hamstring injury, sustained in a

5-1 win at Tottenham.

During that time, City have failed to score in three of five matches.

But the 25-year-old came through a first-team session with no reaction and could feature in Sunday’s game against Sunderland at Wembley.

Aguero’s importance to the City team has been underlined during the last month where they have lost at

home to Chelsea

in the Premier League and

to Barcelona

in the Champions League.

Following the defeat by Chelsea, City also

drew 0-0 at Norwich

and managed a

1-0 victory

over Stoke at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, thanks to Yaya Toure’s goal.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that fellow strikers Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko have not been 100% fit, while Stevan Jovetic was replaced against Stoke after suffering from cramp.

But he will hope to have all four available for Sunday as he seeks to win the first trophy of a targeted quadruple.

Aguero, who has scored 26 goals in all competitions, has already had a spell on the sidelines this season after suffering a

calf injury in December.

Manchester City team-mate Samir Nasri said: “It is going to be a big boost for the team [having Aguero back], but you cannot disrespect Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko.

“They have done a great job too. It will be good when another striker comes, and with Stevan Jovetic and them we can rotate and be more fresh.”

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Sergio Aguero: Manchester City face anxious injury wait

29 January 2014
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Manchester City face an anxious wait to discover the extent of Sergio Aguero’s hamstring injury after he limped out of the 5-1 victory at Tottenham.

The Argentine striker gave City the lead in a win that took them to the top of the Premier League but pulled up seconds before half-time.

He is now a doubt for next Monday’s home meeting with Chelsea.

“We will see how he is after he has seen the doctor on Thursday,” manager Manuel Pellegrini said.

“He has injured his hamstring. Now we must wait and see how serious it is.

“We have tried not to depend on one player but we will always miss Sergio because he’s a top player and we hope to have him again as soon as possible.”

Aguero’s goal was his 50th in the Premier League and came after he played for 90 minutes in the FA Cup win over Watford on Saturday.

And Pellegrini pondered whether the injury came as a “consequence” of that demand with the 25-year-old still completing his return from a previous problem.

But the Chilean boss added: “Sergio has just come back from a calf injury and when he didn’t play we have Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko and here we had Stevan Jovetic.”

City now lead Arsenal by a point and Pellegrini was delighted with what he called a “complete” performance from his side.

He added: “It was probably the best we have played away because we played a very good team who were also in a very good moment.

“We defended well and the performance from the team was complete. We are not thinking about the title because we have another 15 games to play. We must continue to play the same way we played here.

“It is good to be top because it then depends on what we do. We have still to fight for 45 points more.”

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Sergio Aguero: Man City boss Pellegrini hails striker’s return

16 January 2014
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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini stressed the importance of Sergio Aguero after the striker scored on his return from a calf injury to help beat Blackburn in their FA Cup replay.

The 25-year-old Argentine has been out since 14 December but came off the bench to score as

City won 5-0

to book a fourth-round tie at home to Watford.

Pellegrini said: “It’s important that Sergio came back and scored, which he did with his first touch.

“We have so many games at this stage.”

The Chilean boss added: “Also to play 25 minutes will be important for him because he is fit after injury but he must be working on his fitness again.”

City face a crucial three weeks in the Premier League and domestic cup competitions as Pellegrini

pursues a quadruple in his first season in England.

After hosting struggling Cardiff in the league on Saturday, they face West Ham in the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final – albeit with a 6-0 lead from the first leg.

Following Watford’s visit in the FA Cup, Pellegrini’s side travel to sixth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League before hosting title contenders Chelsea on 3 February, with Jose Mourinho’s side currently a point behind them in the league table.

City return to European competition on 18 February when they host Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Their latest rout saw them chalk up their 99th goal in all competitions this season, with Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko both scoring twice against Championship side Blackburn.

Negredo, who joined City in the summer from Sevilla for £20m, is now the club’s top scorer this season on 21 goals, with Aguero on 20 and Dzeko 15.

And Pellegrini said he wanted his side to continue in the same vein as they look set to break goalscoring records this term.

“It’s an important amount of goals,” he said.

“I repeat when I arrived here it was important to try and win a trophy but in the way this team must play and it’s important for the fans to come here and know that we are going to try and score the most amount of goals we can.”

He added: “This is a good moment of the season. I do not know if it is the best – we have another three months and how we end it is very important. And the best way to do it is to try to play every game like a final.”

Aguero said on Twitter: “I want to thank City’s fans for the warm welcome. And also all of the physicians and therapists of Manchester City that helped me recover.”

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Sergio Aguero named in Man City’s squad to face Blackburn

14 January 2014
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Sergio Aguero will return to the Manchester City squad for Wednesday’s FA Cup third-round replay against Blackburn at Etihad Stadium.

The Argentina forward has been out since 14 December with a calf injury sustained in the

6-3 win over Arsenal.

“Sergio is working normally with the whole squad and he is on the squad list for tomorrow,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said.

Pellegrini also confirmed that striker John Guidetti will be sent out on loan.

Stoke City are close

to finalising a deal for the Sweden international,

21, who has yet to make a Premier League appearance for City.

City have won seven of the eight matches they have played since Aguero’s injury, with the

1-1 FA Cup draw at Blackburn

the only lapse, but Pellegrini feels the 25-year-old is still an integral part of the team.

“He is a very important player for us,” the ex-Malaga manager said. “It doesn’t matter if we are scoring a lot of goals, Sergio will always be a very important player and we are happy he is coming back.”

Aguero is City’s leading scorer this season with 19 goals, 13 of which have come in the Premier League.

Manchester City’s provisional squad:

Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Nastasic, Demichelis, Boyata, Kolarov, Clichy, Milner, Navas, Fernandinho, Garcia, Negredo, Dzeko, Lopes, Aguero.

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Man City striker Sergio Aguero back in training after calf injury

10 January 2014
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Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is back in training after a calf problem and could return to action against Cardiff on 19 January.

The Argentina forward, who has scored 19 goals this season, has been out since the

6-3 victory over Arsenal

on 14 December.

He will miss the Newcastle match but could feature against the Bluebirds.

“Aguero continues working and maybe next week he can be fit,” said City manager Manuel Pellegrini.

After Sunday’s trip to Newcastle, City face Blackburn in an FA Cup third-round replay before hosting Cardiff in the Premier League at Etihad Stadium.

City have won six of their seven matches without Aguero, with the

1-1 draw at Blackburn

the only time they have not won.

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Sergio Aguero set to return for Manchester City this month

7 January 2014
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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says striker Sergio Aguero is in line to return from injury in January.

The 25-year-old has been out since suffering a calf problem against Arsenal on 14 December and

City feared he could be out for up to eight weeks.

But, when asked when Aguero may return, Pellegrini said: “During January.

“He is working, he is training. It is very good news. All players recovering from injuries is good news, especially a player as important as Kun Aguero.”

Aguero has scored 19 goals in 20 appearances for City so far this season and his return will provide a timely boost for the club.

City face Tottenham and Chelsea in the league at the turn of the month, while they will host Barcelona in the first leg of their last-16 knockout tie on 18 February.

Forward Stevan Jovetic has struggled with injuries and illness since

his £22m summer move from Fiorentina

to the Etihad but he could also return in January.

The 24-year-old Montenegro international has made just five appearances so far this season.

“For the player it is always very bad news when he cannot play, but I think he is a very important player,” said Pellegrini ahead of his side’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against West Ham on Wednesday.

“He was the best choice to replace Kun Aguero when Kun got injured, but things happen and we must try to be optimistic for the future and suppose Stevan will play in the second part of the season.”

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Sergio Aguero: Manchester City striker out for ‘at least a month’

16 December 2013
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Sergio Aguero will be out of action “for at least a month”, according to Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

The striker, City’s leading scorer this season with 19 goals, injured his calf during Saturday’s 6-3 victory over Premier League leaders Arsenal.

The Argentine, who has scored 13 times in the league, claimed the opener against the Gunners before limping off at the start of the second half.

Pellegrini confirmed Aguero’s absence at a news conference on Monday.

City are due to play Championship side Leicester City in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.

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Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero is better than Luis Suarez – Pellegrini

6 December 2013
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Sergio Aguero is a better all-round player than fellow South American forward Luis Suarez, says Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Both strikers have been in highly impressive form this season, with Uruguayan Suarez scoring 13 goals, two more than Argentine Aguero.

“Suarez is a very important striker, but I think Sergio participates more in the game,” said Pellegrini.

City go to

Southampton on Saturday,

six points behind league

leaders Arsenal.

Pellegrini last month said he believed Aguero was the finest player in the Premier League and, in world terms, only behind Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Chilean boss said he was delighted at the way his 25-year-old forward had been working on his game, notably when he is without the ball.

“Sergio is just 25 years old, so I think of course he can improve,” Pellegrini said. “I think this year he has improved a lot in the way he works during matches.

“He has always been a top player and he has always scored goals, but I think at this moment, he has added working for the team without the ball, which is also important for him.

“I never said he was the best striker in the Premier League – I said he was the best player. Maybe there are players who are better strikers than him, but not as complete as him.”

When asked whether city rivals Manchester United, who lie ninth in the table – 12 points behind the Gunners – were already out of the title race, Pellegrini did not want to be drawn.

“I think the fight for the Premier League is exactly the same,” he said. “There are eight or nine teams that are very close in points.”

City – who are third, six points behind Arsenal – have won only two of their seven Premier League away games this term.

Pellegrini is optimistic his captain Vincent Kompany will be fit enough to keep his place in the team for the trip to eighth-placed Southampton.

The defender, who has been sidelined by a thigh problem, made his first appearance since 5 October on Wednesday when he played for the whole of the victory at West Brom.

Pellegrini again refused to say whether Costel Pantilimon or Joe Hart will start in goal.

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